BELLEVILLE — The Sunken Sub is coming back.
And so is the steak soup, Louisiana bread pudding, pizza and some of the other favorites like the platter of smoked beef, pork and chicken breast called Moo, Oink & Cluck that were once cooked, baked and served at the former Maxwell's Restaurant in Belleville.
John Bailey, a lifelong Mascoutah resident and retired property manager, is opening a new restaurant at 923 W. Main St., where John Steinlage operated Maxwell's Restaurant from May 1976 to July 2012. Bailey said if there is any Maxwell's food that customers want, he will try to bring it back.
Bailey said he and his family have been friends with building owner Sarah Andrews for 40 years and was interested in bringing a restaurant back to that site. He said Steinlage, Maxwell's founder and owner, is helping to bring the restaurant to life. Steinlage closed the business almost two years ago.
Aside from a familiar menu, the new restaurant will be appropriately named Flamingo's, for the dozens of plush pink and lawn ornamental birds that perched inside the restaurant over the years and came out every spring.
"There are lots of flamingos here and there will be flamingos everywhere," Bailey said. "Previously they were famous for arriving in the spring and departing in the fall. Hopefully, we will create such an environment that they will stick around all year."
Bailey said he plans to open sometime next month, as soon as final permits and a liquor license are secured. He said many of Maxwell's employees will work at Flamingo's.
Bailey also said that after almost two years since Maxwell's closed and with other redevelopment in town such as the new Illinois State Police crime lab down the street now is a good time to reoccupy that space with new life and some of the old favorites.
"I think it is great area of resurgence," he said. "We're excited and we felt this is the right time to be in that part of West Main."
Contact reporter Will Buss at email@example.com or 239-2526.